Falcons vs. Vikings Betting Odds & Predictions: Trust Minnesota to Cover?

Falcons vs. Vikings Betting Odds & Predictions: Trust Minnesota to Cover? article feature image

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Dalvin Cook

Falcons at Vikings Betting Odds

  • Odds: Vikings -4
  • Total: 47.5
  • Time: 1 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel: FOX

All odds above are as of Thursday and via PointsBet.

Despite getting a lot of public love, the Falcons are 4-point underdogs in their season opener against the Vikings. Why hasn’t the spread moved since opening? Should you consider taking Atlanta on the road to open the season?

Our experts compare their projections to the odds and reveal how they’re betting this game.

Falcons-Vikings Injury Report

The Falcons have no key injuries at the moment, but Stefon Diggs missed the Vikings’ practice on Wednesday with a hamstring issue. This is something to monitor throughout the week as Diggs’ absence would free up 33% of their Air Yards and 25% of their target share from last season.

The Vikings headed into the regular season with just four receivers on their active roster, so any call-ups from the practice squad could be a good indicator of Diggs’ health. Justin Bailey

Note: Info as of Thursday. See our Injury Report for daily practice participation and game statuses up until kickoff.

Sean Koerner’s Projected Odds

  • Projected Spread: Vikings -3.5
  • Projected Total: 47.5

The Vikings have remained at -4 despite what appears to be lopsided action on the Falcons, who are attracting 62% of bets as of writing (you can find live betting percentages here).

I have a similar line for this game, but think the slight value is on the Vikings.

The Falcons’ offensive line looked a bit off in the preseason, which caused Matt Ryan to be visually frustrated. It could take a week or two for them to get in sync, but should still be an improvement over last season. Still, Julio Jones and the three key defenders who ended up on IR at various points last season (Deion Jones, Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen) have been treated with kids gloves heading into the season.

The Vikings are much more likely to hit the ground running and should be able to take advantage of the Falcons, who will improve as the season goes on. I’d lean Vikings -4 here.

The total is right in the range I’ve pegged it. It’s worth noting that despite about 75% of the tickets coming in on the over, the line hasn’t budged yet. There could be some sharp money preventing this line from going too much higher.

I’d lean on the under in a pick ’em contest, but right now, this is a pass for me. Sean Koerner

Biggest Mismatch

Falcons WR Julio Jones vs. Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes

I’ll be watching this game closely, primarily to see how much the Vikings run the ball — a stated emphasis of Mike Zimmer late in the season when he fired his offensive coordinator — and to gauge the relative performances of each offensive line, both of which have major question marks.

Minnesota’s offensive line struggled throughout 2018 and still doesn’t project as a strong unit, especially up the middle. How will the Vikings handle star DT Grady Jarrett and any pressure the Falcons bring up the middle? If the Vikings can hold up, Kirk Cousins certainly has the talent at receiver and tight end to pick apart Atlanta through the air.

The Falcons have a lot of uncertainty on the right side of the line in particular, where they’ll presumably start two completely inexperienced linemen. Rookie Chris Lindstrom will get the start at RG while the RT spot will either be filled by rookie Kaleb McGary or Matt Gono, a second-year undrafted player. And McGary has been dealing with a heart issue while Gono is also banged up.

Can the Falcons’ right side of the line hold up against Danielle Hunter and a very complex Vikings defense that likes to bring various disguised exotic blitzes throughout the game? It’s a unit that ranked second in Football Outsiders’ adjusted sack rate in 2018 for a reason.

Julio Jones-Xaiver Rhodes
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Julio Jones, Xaiver Rhodes

If the Falcons’ line can give Ryan some time, he can exploit a complete mismatch on the outside with Jones, who will likely be shadowed by Rhodes.

Rhodes is not the same elite lockdown corner he once was. He appears to have lost a step, and that’s all it takes in the NFL to see a massive decline in production.

Just take a look at his Pro Football Focus grades over the past three seasons:

If Ryan gets any time at all, expect a number of big plays down the field to the NFL’s leading receiver over the past five seasons combined. Stuckey

Expert Pick

Chris Raybon: Falcons +4

The Vikings are getting a bit too much credit here at -4 instead of -3.

This is a team that managed to rank just 22nd in yards per pass attempt despite the stellar play of Adam Thielen and Diggs and the big money addition of Cousins. Their O-line is still one of the NFL’s shakiest (ranked 25th by PFF), and Diggs (hamstring) tends to struggle when banged up.

The Falcons will be better coached with Dan Quinn taking over defensive play-calling and Dirk Koetter returning to coordinate the offense.

The Vikings want to run the ball, which is sup-optimal in terms of pulling away. They’ve also been having kicker issues while the Falcons solved theirs by bringing back Matt Bryant.

This has all the makings of a game in which the Vikings let the Falcons hang around, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they win outright. I would bet this down to +3.5.

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